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Apra is the premier international organization for professionals who specialize in fundraising research, data analytics and relationship management. Apra is committed to providing leading-edge educational and networking opportunities to its members and the greater fundraising community, establishing and promoting high professional standards and ethical guidelines, and providing advocacy and a representative voice for the profession. For more than 30 years, Apra has offered opportunities and services that enable members to effectively meet the needs of their organizations while maintaining the highest ethical standards. To learn more or become a member, visit Apra's website.

aasp's Best Practices Library of over 70 approved and draft best practices

aasp and Apra have established a partnership effort to develop best practices across Prospect Development for the benefit of Apra and aasp members.

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Prospect Development Definition by Apra

A Brief Description of the Profession

Prospect Development is the strategic arm of an organization’s fundraising operation, focusing on prospect pools and pipelines. Prospect Development professionals collaborate with gift officers and development leaders to ensure fundraising efforts are focused on working with the right donors for the right gifts at the right time (and in many cases, with the right initiatives).

Prospect Development has evolved to include the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Prospect identification and research: discovering and evaluating prospective donors, and their interests, relationships, inclination to give and philanthropic capacity to inform and support an organization’s fundraising strategies and outreach efforts
  • Relationship management: managing, tracking, and reporting on an organization’s activity with its constituent and prospect pools, and making recommendations to positively influence fundraiser and campaign activity
  • Data analytics: supporting an information-driven decision culture by deriving conclusions and identifying trends through the statistical analysis of internal and external data

This evolution has been driven in part by advances in information management technology, data storage, trends in information availability, and increased need for data-driven decision making. Prospect development practitioners are guided by a code of ethics (outlined by Apra International) that ensures all activities performed are legal, ethical and appropriate for their individual organizations.

Prospect Development professionals work in a variety of organizations which fundraise, including colleges and universities, private schools , medical centers and hospitals, arts organizations, social organizations, environmental organizations and political organizations.